This wiki aims to consolidate lore concerning the Heavy Gear universe in one location.
Heavy Gear is a game universe published since 1994 by Canadian publisher Dream Pod 9. It includes a tabletop tactical wargame, a role-playing game and a lesser known combat card game (Heavy Gear Fighter). The setting is also known through the PC-game incarnations published by Activision in 1997 and 1999, developed after Activision lost the rights to the Battletech/MechWarrior series. It also spawned a 40-episodes, 3D-animated TV series in 2001, which featured a much simplified version of the universe developed in the role-playing game.
The background universe of the game is extremely detailed: several million words have been published to date in more than a hundred books and game accessories. A continual epic storyline runs throughout all of the game's material, with new publications moving chronologically along the timeline.
As the name implies, Heavy Gear is best known for its humanoid combat vehicles (or mecha): the 'Gears' and 'Striders' used by the military forces in the setting. Its mecha designs are typical of those found in the Real Robot anime genre; they are most similar in size and tactical role to those in Ryousuke Takahashi's 1983 Armored Trooper Votoms anime. They're, in fact, generally used in role of special forces rather than armored vehicles.
|Plot and setting|
Heavy Gear is set on a distant, fictional planet called Terra Nova around 4,000 Earth Standard Years from now (AD 6132). Terra Nova was once the pride of the United Earth Government's colonies. However, an economic collapse forced the UEG government to abandon Terra Nova and all its other colonies centuries before the period depicted in the game's setting, leaving Terra Nova in a dark age.
Eventually, City-states rose from the ashes and either through treaties or tyranny, united to form national unions called Leagues. These Leagues would in turn ally (again either peacefully or forcibly) to form the superpower blocs that dominated the temperate southern and northern hemispheres of the planet. The planet's geography is primarily land containing deep underground water reserves, but few large bodies of open water, and no oceans. This is unlike Earth which is covered by 70% ocean. The planet has its own existing ecosystem of plants and animals, though most animals are reptilian in nature, such as the bison like Barnaby used as livestock, and the prolific Hopper which is the equivalent of Earth's rabbit. The single dominant land feature is a massive mineral rich, hot, desert belt around the equator of the world known as the Badlands. This territory is not dominated by any one political group, and is considered open territory to everyone, and contains many bandit groups known as Rovers. Most people live in the northern or southern polar regions where temperatures are more acceptable to human life, and other terrain types such as forests, grasslands, swamps and jungles can be found. Small ice caps with arctic conditions and glaciers are found on the true north and true south poles.
As the setting is primarily the backdrop for a series of strategy, roleplaying, and video games the military and weaponry are the main focus. One of the most popular weapon systems of the various groups on Terra Nova are the machines known as Heavy Gears that give the universe its name. They are 12- to 18-foot-tall (3.7 to 5.5 m) bipedal, armored, single occupancy military combat units. The Gears are less heavily armed and armored than main battle tanks used by the Terra Nova armies. However, the Gears provide a mix of capabilities that prove effective as the setting/game rules typically allow victory through maneuver warfare and place less emphasis on raw firepower and armor.
Several major wars take place over time, including the War of the Alliance. A new dictatorial government on Earth attempts to re-take its former colonies by force using its own war machines of hover tanks and armies of purple skinned GREL super soldiers (Genetically Recombinant Expeditionary Legionaries). In this war both the North and the South cooperate to fight off the Colonial Expeditionary Force, some of which is abandoned on the planet and form the Port Arthur city-state.
As of 6132 AD (TN 1936, local calendar), the Confederated Northern City-States (CNCS) and the Allied Southern Territories (AST) are recovering and rebuilding from the War of the Alliance. Despite a common enemy the polar superpowers have great fear and animosity for each other, an analogy of the real world NATO and Warsaw Pact, while the independent City-States of the Badlands simply try to survive the crossfire.